Misha Williams



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 15 
FAWCETT 
Two years or more even. Don't let your mother worry if 
it's more than two years. 
 
BRIAN 
Why are you taking Jack? I thought he was going to 
become a film star. Jungles are too sweaty for him 
surely? 
 
FAWCETT 
Jack has shown an interest in my work. 
 
BRIAN 
And why Raleigh in heavens name? He's damn lazy. 
He'll be a liability. 
 
FAWCETT 
Raleigh is a first rate photographer and will be 
indispensable
 
BRIAN 
I don't see why…I can't… 
 
FAWCETT 
("Sympathetically" and quietly) You can't see why I 
won't take you. It's because you've never shown an 
interest in my work. Or have much imagination for that 
matter. It's hard for a father to see so little progress in 
a younger son who seems so un-evolved. Well, you get 
your job in your grimy little foundry and your 
apprenticeship on the railways if that's your life's aim…  
 
NINA'S voice is heard calling gaily
 
NINA 
Jack! Jack darling! I'm packing you some toffees. I 
know you love these ones. They'll be just the thing 
when the going gets tough (She laughs)
 
BRIAN 
(Screams out) Oh for CHRIST'S SAKE! LEAVE ME 
ALONE! (To himself) Anyway, why shouldn't I become 
the Joseph Conrad of Railways? 
 


 16 
Music. Light change. Memories flood back in BRIAN'S mind. 
FAWCETT and NINA together. BRIAN at a distance. 
 
FAWCETT 
(To NINA) My weakness is hypersensitivity. Have you 
never felt, under my apparent calm, the volcano of 
nervousness that's always there? It's a foolish    
weakness that I've got to conquer. It's a sort of 
Fear…I've never been free of it. All my life. I had such 
a rotten childhood. The kicks. The snubs of my 
parents… 
 
BRIAN  
(To the audience) He can talk! 
 
FAWCETT 
They were always over critical. Sending me to 
Westminster School developed in me a profound 
loathing of the English system of education. It was a 
brutal place… 
 
BRIAN 
…Where individual thought was considered evil… 
 
FAWCETT 
Any questioning or creativity was sadistically punished. 
Army life was just as bad. It consisted of dominating 
and exploiting foreign races. That's why I refused to 
collect my DSO.  Daily life in England was class 
snobbery, dishonesty, greed, hypocrisy.  To get on in 
my career, I had to hide my feelings. But that didn't 
banish my hate. It increased it. This vile reality they 
imprison us in!….. That's why I escape into exotic 
ancient cultures, a golden past…. a pure Arcadia. Am I 
strange? Am I extreme? 
 
NINA hugs her husband. 
 
NINA 
Oh, Puggy.   
 
 
 
 


 17 
BRIAN 
I eavesdropped on that last conversation of theirs and 
for the first time in my life, I felt great warmth for 
Daddy. He certainly had a point.  
Explorers have two faces; one that the world sees and 
admires, and a secret one… seldom revealed.  
 
 
SCENE SIX.      GUEST HOUSE 
 
 
ALBERT, JESS and NINA enter down stageNINA is pushed in a 
wheelchair by ALBERT.  
 
NINA 
My husband's nickname for me was "Cheeky." He said 
it was because I always had to have the last word… 
 
They settle at the table. 
 
ALBERT 
            You think it possible he could still be alive? 
 
JESS starts a huge yawn. 
 
NINA 
 
Oh yes.  
 
JESS 
Aged over a hundred? 
 
NINA 
Definitely. He was extremely fit when he left. 
 
JESS sniggers quietly at ALBERT who tries to ignore her boredom and 
rudeness. 
 
 
NINA 
And Jack. Without doubt he's still alive. It's just that 
they made a choice, you see. 
 


 18 
ALBERT 
Not to return? 
 
NINA 
I get messages. I'm psychic you know. He contacts me 
now and then with reassuring comments. 
 
JESS 
In that case, why don't you just ask him what 
happened?  And clear up the mystery.        
 
ALBERT looks furiously at JESS. 
 
JESS 
Over a  hundred people have lost their lives in 
Amazonia. Rescue parties! "Looking for Fawcett"! It's 
pathetic, this mania. 
 
   
 
 
 
NINA 
And they all, except one, went in the wrong direction. 
They searched eastward from Cuiaba. My husband 
went west. Only the Swiss trapper Stefan Rattin got it 
right travelling westward and said he made contact 
with my husband. Though I don't know if that's true. 
He said Fawcett was wearing a snake-eyed ring, and as 
Brian says, my husband never wore rings. So perhaps 
it was mistaken identity. Even Mr Rattin died trying to 
return to rescue the man he thought was my husband. 
 
JESS                         
Can't your husband send a telepathic message stating 
"I don't wish to be rescued, thank you," 'Could save a 
lot of hassle. 
 
ALBERT looks at JESS wearily. 
 
 NINA 
He may have lost his mind by now. 
 
JESS 
I know the feeling. 
     
 
 




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